The Playlist

For Your Consideration: 5 Overlooked Supporting Actors Who Deserve Some Awards Season Attention

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2013 2:26 PM
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  • 33 Comments
FYC Supporting Actors, Oscars 2013
The Phoney War phase of the awards season is starting to come to an end: we've already had nominations from smaller precursors like the Gotham Awards and the British Independent Film Awards, and in a little over two weeks, things will get underway properly with the New York Film Critics Awards and the National Board of Review Awards, kicking off a month full of nominees and winners ahead of the opening of Oscar voting on December 27th.

Oscars: Will Hayao Miyazaki Win Best Animated Feature For 'The Wind Rises'?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 12, 2013 2:19 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Oscars Animation 2013
The last week or so has seen the animation branch of the Academy start to crystallize their contenders: a list of 19 features have been announced as the submitted films for the Best Animated Feature category, along with a list of 10 shorts. This year sees a fairly major change in the category, with voters on the nominating committee now able to watch the films on screeners, rather than attending special in-theater screenings. They also only have to watch two-thirds of the eligible films (twelve and a half, which we're assuming rounds up to thirteen), rather than the 80% which was the case in previous years.

Oscars: Can Anyone Beat 'Gravity' Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki To The Prize?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 6, 2013 12:16 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Oscars Cinematography 2013
n the last three years, the race for the Cinematography Oscar has come down to a bout between two kinds of candidates: the oft-overlooked veteran who has somehow never won an Oscar, and the previously-lauded cinematographer who shot a visual effects-infused extravaganza. In all three years, the winner proved to be of the second category.

'Frozen,' 'Planes' & 'The Smurfs 2' Among 19 Finalists For 2014 Animated Feature Oscar Nomination

After our own Drew Taylor declared "Frozen" to be a new Disney classic, perhaps you won't be too surprised to learn that it has been submitted and accepted as a finalist for Best Animated Feature Film. But don't get fooled. The only criteria for the 19 movies that made the cut seems to be that they meet the eligibility requirements so flops like "The Croods" and "Free Birds" along with critical punching bags like "Planes" and "The Smurfs 2" get the same consideration as Hayao Mizayaki's "The Wind Rises." Read More »

Oscars: Is The Best Director Competition More Than A Two-Horse Race?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 30, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 6 Comments
If this year's Best Picture race is tough (and it is, even with films like "Foxcatcher" and "Monuments Men" pushed into 2014), it's nothing compared to the fight that's brewing in Best Director. The category has evolved somewhat since the Best Picture field expanded to ten films. Before that change, the line-up tended to mirror the five Best Picture nominees, with the occasional exception, usually for an arthouse Euro-auteur like Mike Leigh (for "Vera Drake" in 2005) or Julian Schnabel (for "Diving Bell & The Butterfly" in 2008). And it's still true that the directing nominees are mostly drawn from the Best Picture nominees, but with more opportunity for a film to get recognized in the bigger category, it does seem to have enabled the directors' branch to be more idiosyncratic in their choices.

Oscars: Which Films Will Pick Up Original & Adapted Screenplay Nominations?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 23, 2013 5:09 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Oscars 2013: Original & Adapted Screenplay Nominations
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Twilight Zone. As long as almost anyone can recall, the Adapted Screenplay category has been more far more competitive than the original script slot. In general, more Academy-friendly films tend to have been adapted from novels, non-fiction books, plays, articles, or from other material, with the competition for original fare proving thinner. As a result, the Original Screenplay category has quietly been one of our favorites, allowing foreign-language films, tiny indies or genre fare to pick up nominations where they'd otherwise have difficulty.

Oscars: A Look At The Best Actress Front-Runners, Including Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock & Amy Adams

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 16, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 32 Comments
Received wisdom has it that, in most years, the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards is less competitive than their male equivalent. It's certainly true, if it even needs to be said, that great roles for women are far, far less common than they are for men. But one only has to think of the performances that haven't been nominated in recent years to realize that it's not the lack of talent out there, so much as the Academy, or even the prognosticators, tending to be a little more conservative in their picks.

Oscars: A Look At The Best Actor Hopefuls, Including Tom Hanks, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Matthew McConaughey

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 9, 2013 1:33 PM
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  • 9 Comments
As ever, all the Oscar categories look competitive even from this far out, but nothing is going to be a tougher fight this year than the Best Actor race. It's typically a harder slog than most categories -- ask John Hawkes, who missed the cut last year for "The Sessions," despite months of buzz and predictions -- but this year looks like something else entirely. It's still only October, with many of the major possibilities still to open, and a few still to be unveiled completely, and the line-up is stacked.

Oscars: A Look At The Supporting Actress Contenders, Including Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz & Lupita Nyong'o

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 2, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 5 Comments
It's been a busy week or so in Oscar Land: rumors have swirled around the release, or not, of "The Wolf Of Wall Street," previously thought a potential frontrunner, while Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" stormed into the race with an excellent teaser trailer, only for it to be announced almost immediately that the film wouldn't make its release date or AFI premiere, and would instead be released in 2014.

Oscars: A Look At The Supporting Actor Field, Including Michael Fassbender, Jared Leto & James Gandolfini

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 23, 2013 2:32 PM
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  • 9 Comments
So far, for the most part, a good chunk of the 2013 awards contenders have been seen, but only by those high falutin' critical types at film festivals -- as we saw last week. But that started to change last week with the release of two legit Best Picture contenders: Ron Howard's "Rush," and Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners." So even those trying to stick their head in the sand and avoid Oscar season aren't going to have much of a choice from here on out.

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